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The role and diagnostic value of cell-free DNA in systemic lupus erythematosus


1, 2, 3

 

  1. Department of Immunology, Transplantology and Internal Diseases, and Postgraduate School of Molecular Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland.
  2. Department of Immunology, Transplantology and Internal Diseases, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland. b.foronc@gmail.com
  3. Department of Immunology, Transplantology and Internal Diseases, Medical University of Warsaw; and Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.

CER9588
2017 Vol.35, N°2
PI 0330, PF 0336
Review

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PMID: 27908304 [PubMed]

Received: 15/05/2016
Accepted : 02/09/2016
In Press: 14/11/2016
Published: 16/03/2017

Abstract

Cell‐free DNA (cfDNA) represents a small fraction of total DNA pool that circulates freely in the blood both in normal and pathological conditions. Data indicate that cfDNA plays an important role in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and hypomethylation may be crucial for its immunogenic properties. Although differences in quantification methodology hinder the comparison of results between the studies, it appears that levels of cfDNA are abnormally elevated in SLE patients and correlate with various antibody titers, but not with disease activity. Increased cfDNA concentration, however, may be associated with active lupus nephritis. Most of the studies confirmed apoptosis as the major cfDNA release mechanism in various conditions, but formation of neutrophil extracellular traps may significantly contribute to the cfDNA generation in SLE patients. In this review, we summarise current knowledge about the role and possible origin of cfDNA in SLE patients, and discuss why cfDNA testing for diagnostic and prognosis of SLE remains questionable.

Rheumatology Article